First of all, a logo isn’t your brand
A logo is part of your brand, but not the brand itself. A logo is an icon or symbol that represents your business, whereas a brand includes your logo, colour scheme, fonts, overall design, voice, other visual elements and more. Phew, that’s a lot! And that’s why I’ll just be covering logo design in this post. If I wrote in detail about everything, I’d probably be able to write a book!
It’s important that everything is cohesive and that your brand is super tight so there’s no mistaking who you are. While a logo is definitely a must-have, you should also be able to remove your logo and still recognise your business (obviously don’t actually remove your logo!).
Very quick branding tips before we move on to the logo design advice
I’ve found that the easiest way to start with your branding is to create a mood board, either online using something like Pinterest, on Photoshop or other image editing software, or on paper.
What does your business do? What colours represent your business? What keywords do you want your customers to use to describe your business? By asking yourself questions about how you want your business to be represented, you can almost build a personality and start to put together a common theme. You can decide what colour(s) depict your business the best and what other colours compliment them, you can decide what sort of fonts suit your idea and you can decide on additional patterns and elements that’ll help communicate what your business is all about.
It’s a good idea to collect all of your final branding in a brand board or brand guidelines document that you can quickly refer back to whenever you’re creating new materials or updating your website.
———————— NOW FOR THE GOOD STUFF! ————————
A good logo should be UNIQUE
Don’t think “ooh, I like ‘so and so’s’ logo. I’ll make one like that”. First of all, if it’s the same that’s breaching copyright. Second, your logo should represent you and your business, not someone else’s. It’s fine to take inspiration e.g. “I like how they’ve increased the space between the letters, maybe I’ll do that with my font” but copying exactly is a no-no. Unique equals memorable, and memorable is definitely a good thing when it comes to your logo.
Simple is best
Here’s one of the most important logo design tips – When it comes to logos, simple is best! Your logo should be universally recognisable and quick to understand and memorise. Stick to one or two fonts for your logo and one main feature.
If you want to create an elaborate fancy logo then you can, but maybe consider having an icon or smaller version of your logo that you can use for applications that require something a bit simpler.
Describe your business in one image and keep it relevant
What do you do? How are you going to get your logo to portray that? If you make and sell cakes, an obvious choice would be to create a logo with something cake or baking related. It doesn’t have to be a cake itself, it could be an icing bag piping your business name for example. The point is, the logo should be RELEVANT to what you do. You don’t want a logo in the shape of a handbag if you’re selling cakes, just like you wouldn’t want a rainbow coloured logo for a law firm! See what I mean?
Spend time sketching, and sketching some more, and sketching again…
I find that my greatest ideas come from spending time sketching on paper. I draw the very first ideas that come into my head, I draw some crazy ideas, I draw some really bad ideas, I draw the actual products or services the business offers and then I draw some more. From all those ideas and sketches, I often come up with something unique and individual. Basically, one idea can spark another and so on…it gets very interesting!
Research colour psychology – it sounds confusing, but it’s not!
Different colours provoke different emotions in people. That’s why it’s a good idea to really think about colours in your logo design and research colour psychology. A great guide can be found here by The Logo Company that shows what different colours imply and can therefore help you to choose colours that fit your business qualities.
You should definitely know your audience
This is key for your business, not just your logo. You definitely need to know who your ideal audience is so you can cater your branding, the products or services you offer and your marketing to appeal to them most. If you don’t know your target audience yet, or want to narrow down, read this post.
You yourself might not actually be the ideal customer for your business, so don’t just go with what you like best. By figuring out who your ideal audience is, you can step into their shoes and determine what would appeal to them and create something that they can’t ignore.
Can the logo be used on a variety of applications?
If your logo design was very tiny on a business card, would it still be readable? If it was huge on a billboard, would it still look great? A logo should be scaleable and appear as intended on any surface. It should also work well in different colours, for example black and white if there’s no colour option.
Get another pair of eyes to look over it
When you’ve been working on something up close and personal, sometimes it’s difficult to step back and see it from another perspective. You might not notice that actually it looks a little rude or that you’ve misspelt your own business name! By asking someone else you trust to look over the logo and give you feedback, you can be sure that the final version will be mistake free and will look brilliant! Remember, start strong, grow strong!
So, to summarise this logo design advice:
- Remember your logo isn’t your brand, it’s just part of your brand
- Your logo should be unique
- Definitely don’t copy anyone else!
- Keep it simple stupid (KISS)
- Use one or two fonts in your logo
- Focus on one main feature in your logo design
- Make sure your logo is relevant to your business
- Spend time sketching and brainstorming loads of ideas
- Look into colour psychology to see what different colours mean to people
- Determine your ideal audience and build your brand around them
- Ensure your logo design can work in all different sizes
- Make sure your logo can work in different colour options e.g. black and white if use of colour is restricted
- Get someone else to double check it before you start using it and especially before you print it on any materials!